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Preview: Lakers vs. Pistons

November 04, 2012|By Eric Pincus
  • Tayshaun Prince fires a three-point shot with 4.4 seconds remaining to give the Pistons a win over the Lakers in 2008.
Tayshaun Prince fires a three-point shot with 4.4 seconds remaining to… (Duane Burleson / Associated…)

The Lakers host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night with hopes of getting their first win of the season after an 0-3 start.

The Pistons are also winless (0-2) but catch the Lakers without Steve Nash, who will be out at least a week with a non-displaced leg fracture.

Detroit might struggle to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference this season but they do have a talented roster with such players as Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey.

The way the Lakers have played since the start of the preseason, they're vulnerable.

Still, this could be the opportunity for the Lakers to finally get in the win column.

Key matchup

Although the Pistons have a number of exciting, developing players, this battle is between veterans.

Tayshaun Prince has been one of the best individual defenders against Kobe Bryant over the last decade.  Prince hasn't been the force he was during the Pistons' championship run, but he is leading the Pistons in scoring at 15 points a game.

Bryant might not defend Prince but bank on the Pistons to use their lanky small forward on Bryant.

Through three games, the Lakers star guard is averaging 30.7 points on 61.4% shooting.  On the down side, Bryant's turnovers are high, at five a game.

If Prince can slow Bryant at all, the Lakers might have trouble offensively.

X-factor

Brandon Knight is a talent. He's still trying to prove that he can be consistent.

Knight is averaging 14 points and seven boards. He's the player the Lakers need to be aware of at all times.

Second-year guard Darius Morris relieved Steve Blake in the Lakers backcourt on Friday night with Nash in street clothes.  Morris, a second-year guard, is raw but the Lakers are desperately in need of some young legs.

Perhaps Morris can find a role on the team this season ahead of Chris Duhon.  Coach Mike Brown might need him to help battle Detroit guards Will Bynum, Knight and Stuckey.

Outlook

The Lakers don't look like they're ready to blow out anyone this season but the Pistons could end up the victim of a very pent-up Lakers roster.

Lakers finish the week 1-3 after they finally get a win. . . .

ALSO:

Analyst Kurt Rambis sees virtue in Lakers offense, Part I

Analyst Kurt Rambis sees virtue in Lakers offense, Part II

Steve Nash out at least a week with non-displaced leg fracture

You can email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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